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An academic in France has been sacked by the Ministry of Defence after questioning the official version of events surrounding the 9/11 attacks. He now reportedly plans to sue the government.

Chauprade lost his job allegedly over the introduction to his latest book about political crises around the world, and more specifically, that the 9/11 attacks in New York City and Washington D.C. were an orchestrated “American-Israeli conspiracy”. The Defence Minister had strong objections to the material, so Aymeric had to go.

Jean Dominique Merchet, a French journalist, was the first to report on the sacking.

John Byrne | RawStory.com

Poisonous anthrax that killed five Americans in the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks doesn’t match bacteria from a flask linked to Bruce Ivins, the researcher who committed suicide after being implicated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a scientist said.

Spores used in the deadly mailings “share a chemical ‘fingerprint’ that is not found in the flask linked to Bruce Ivins,” Roberta Kwok wrote in Nature News, citing Joseph Michael, a scientist at the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Michael analyzed letters sent to the New York Post and offices of Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, and found a distinct “chemical signature” not present in the flask known as RMR-1029, which Ivins could access in his laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

“Spores from two of those show a distinct chemical signature that includes silicon, oxygen, iron, and tin; the third letter had silicon, oxygen, iron and possibly also tin,” Kwok wrote. “Bacteria from Ivins’ RMR-1029 flask did not contain any of those four elements.”
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Climate science is ‘ancient astrology’, claims report

Andrew Orlowski | TheRegister.co.uk

Japanese scientists have made a dramatic break with the UN and Western-backed hypothesis of climate change in a new report from its Energy Commission.

Three of the five researchers disagree with the UN’s IPCC view that recent warming is primarily the consequence of man-made industrial emissions of greenhouse gases. Remarkably, the subtle and nuanced language typical in such reports has been set aside.

One of the five contributors compares computer climate modelling to ancient astrology. Others castigate the paucity of the US ground temperature data set used to support the hypothesis, and declare that the unambiguous warming trend from the mid-part of the 20th Century has ceased.

The report by Japan Society of Energy and Resources (JSER) is astonishing rebuke to international pressure, and a vote of confidence in Japan’s native marine and astronomical research. Publicly-funded science in the West uniformly backs the hypothesis that industrial influence is primarily responsible for climate change, although fissures have appeared recently. Only one of the five top Japanese scientists commissioned here concurs with the man-made global warming hypothesis.

JSER is the academic society representing scientists from the energy and resource fields, and acts as a government advisory panel. The report appeared last month but has received curiously little attention. So The Register commissioned a translation of the document – the first to appear in the West in any form. Below you’ll find some of the key findings – but first, a summary.
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Jonathan Stein | MotherJones.com

Former UN Ambassador John Bolton believes the security of the United States is at dire risk under the Obama administration. And before a gathering of conservatives in Washington on Thursday morning, he suggested, as something of a joke, that President Barack Obama might learn a needed lesson if Chicago were destroyed by a nuclear bomb.

Appearing at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the nation’s largest annual conference of conservative activists, Bolton, one of the hardest hardliners of the George W. Bush administration, spoke at length about Obama’s naiveté and how various nations – Russia, North Korea, Iran – will be exploiting the new president. The most dramatic moment of his speech may have been when he cracked a joke about the nuking of Obama’s hometown.

“The fact is on foreign policy I don’t think President Obama thinks it’s a priority,” said Bolton. “He said during the campaign he thought Iran was a tiny threat. Tiny, tiny depending on how many nuclear weapons they are ultimately able to deliver on target. Its, uh, its tiny compared to the Soviet Union, but is the loss of one American city” – here Bolton shrugged his shoulders impishly – “pick one at random – Chicago – is that a tiny threat?”

Bolton wasn’t the only one who thought this was funny. The room erupted in laughter and applause. Was this conservative catharsis, with rightwingers delightfully imagining the destruction of a city that represents Obama? Or perhaps they were venting vengeance with their laughter. (Bolton is no stranger to inflammatory remarks. He once infamously quipped, “There are 38 floors to the UN building in New York. If you lost 10 of them, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.”)
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House.gov

Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Peter King (R-NY), and Michael McMahon (D-NY) today hailed the House passage of the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act (H.R. 1105), which contains $70 million in new funding for federal 9/11 health programs. The new funding, combined with $112 million carried over from previous years, will cover the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program’s $182 million estimated cost for FY 2009.

“The $70 million in this bill will ensure that the heroes of 9/11 can get the care they need for another year,” Maloney said. “Once again, I thank Chairman David Obey for helping fulfill our nation’s moral responsibility to help those who are sick as a result of 9/11. With the support of President Obama and Speaker Pelosi, we hope to pass comprehensive legislation this year to provide long-term care and compensation to 9/11 responders, lower Manhattan residents, and others in need.”

“With $70 million now approved in the Appropriations bill, the WTC Centers of Excellence are guaranteed full funding for the rest of the year,” said Rep. Nadler. “$182 million in federal funding for the WTC health program will ensure that we can continue, without interruption, to monitor and treat first responders and community members living with 9/11-related illnesses. Thanks again to Congressman Obey for making sure this program will continue.”
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Rachel Oswald | RawStory.com 

The Obama Justice Department continues to stand behind a Bush era law meant to prevent lawsuits against telecommunications companies accused of illegally sharing private customer information with intelligence agencies.

In a brief filed late Wednesday obtained by Raw Story, the Department of Justice provided its views to Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, after the San Francisco federal judge questioned the constitutionality of the wide-sweeping law and whether it gives the U.S. Attorney General too much power in deciding whether a company is immune from lawsuits after it has shared information with federal agents.The law was specifically designed to protect companies who participated in government wiretapping programs from legal claims and is one that President Obama supported as a senator when it was approved by Congress last year.

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Steve Watson | InfoWars.com

CNBC anchors were left dumbfounded and acted overtly cantankerous yesterday after Congressman Ron Paul’s opening statement at the House Financial Services Committee was broadcast live to an audience of millions.

CNBC went live to the House, clearly without knowing that the Texas Congressman had the initial Republican statement at the hearing of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

After the Congressman spent two and a half minutes lecturing Bernanke on sound money principles, warning that the financial crisis cannot be solved by merely creating credit out of thin air, CNBC cut back to the studio.


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Steve Watson | InfoWars.com

A Democratic Senator from Connecticut has introduced four bills aimed at establishing a groundwork for a system of comprehensive national service.

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., says that the legislation will “create the architecture and the structure that will serve as the invitation for everyone to serve.”

The Senate bills, co-sponsored by Thad Cochran, R-Miss., are companion legislation to bills Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, introduced Tuesday in the House, calling for increases in federal spending for public service programs.

The legislation would target everyone from schoolchildren to the elderly and aim to create new bases of volunteers beyond the usual young-adult pool of service-program participants, reports The Day.

Two of the bills, named the Summer of Service Act and the Semester of Service Act, are particularly aimed at middle school and high school students and will offer “credits” in return for participation in community-service programs.

Some residents and education experts are concerned that such public service programs may become part of student graduation requirements.

A third bill, named The Encore Service Act, offers cash awards to people aged 55 and over who complete 250 or 500 hours of public service. In return for their service, participants would also receive an education award which could be transferred to their children or grandchildren.

A fourth bill, The ACTION Act, is aimed at increasing awards for AmeriCorps volunteers and reestablishing the Corporation’s connection with federal agencies. The bill would also grant theCorporation for National Service Cabinet-level status under the Obama administration.

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John Byrne | RawStory.com 

 

The Senate is quietly preparing plans to investigate allegations of torture under President George W. Bush, according to comments published Wednesday by Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

 

The Senate Judiciary Committee could announce a hearing to consider various plans to probe allegations of torture as early as today, according to Salon‘s Mark Benjamin, citing Committee Chairman Pat Leahy and members of his staff.

 

Leahy’s office told Raw Story Wednesday morning that a press release would be sent out shortly.

 

Sen. Whitehouse said he’s “convinced” the investigation will move forward.

 

“Stay on this,” he told Benjamin. “This is going to be big.”

 

Whitehouse, Senator from Rhode Island, is “spearheading” the efforts, and as a member of both the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, “is

privy to information about interrogations he can’t yet share,” the magazine noted.

 

Plans to establish the commission still remain in their infancy, as senators and staff look at previous panels, such as the 9-11 Commission, and investigations following Watergate. Whitehouse, a former U.S. attorney, noted that a torture commission might need the power to immunize witnesses on a case-by-case basis. The prospect of future prosecutions, he said, are beside the point. Most important was putting a spotlight on abuses committed by the Bush administration.

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Michael Hudson | GlobalResearch.ca

Banking shares began to plunge Friday morning after Senator Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat who is chairman of the banking committee, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television that he was concerned the government might end up nationalizing some lenders “at least for a short time.” Several other prominent policy makers – including Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina – have echoed that view recently. (Eric Dash, “Growing Worry on Rescue Takes a Toll on Banks,” The New York Times, February 20, 2009)

How is it that Mr. Greenspan, free-market lobbyist for Wall Street, recently announced that he favored nationalization of America’s banks – and indeed, mainly the biggest and most powerful? Has he “gone left”? Or are we dealing with the most recent exercise in Orwellian doublethink?

The answer is that the rhetoric of “free markets,” “nationalization” and even “socialism” (as in “socializing the losses”) has been turned into the language of deception to help the financial sector mobilize government power to support its own special privileges. Having undermined the economy at large, Wall Street’s public relations think tanks are now dismantling the language itself.

The popular media should not let them get away with it.

Economic idealism from the left to the right wing of the political spectrum advocates a free market. But what does this mean? Is it what the classical economists advocated – a market free from monopoly power, business fraud, political insider dealing and special privileges for vested interests – a market protected by the rise in public regulation from the Sherman Anti-Trust law of 1890 to the Glass-Steagall Act and other New Deal legislation? Or is it a market free for predators to exploit victims without public regulation or economic policemen – the kind of free-for-all market that the Federal Reserve and Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) have created over the past decade or so? It seems incredible that people should accept today’s neoliberal idea of “market freedom” in the sense of neutering government watchdogs, Alan Greenspan-style, letting Angelo Mozilo at Countrywide, Hank Greenberg at AIG, Bernie Madoff, Citibank, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers operate freely enough to plunge the economy into crisis and then use Treasury bailout money to pay the highest salaries and bonuses in U.S. history.

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Raphael G. Satter |AP

Britain’s justice secretary overturned an order on Tuesday that would have forced the government to make public the formal minutes of two contentious Cabinet discussions held before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

It was the first time a special ministerial veto has been used to overturn a decision by Britain’s Information Tribunal regarding the country’s Freedom of Information Act of 2000.

The minutes detail a Cabinet’s consideration of advice it was receiving on the legality of the Iraq war, and the order by Justice Secretary Jack Straw to keep them private set back a long-standing effort to seek insight into one of the most contentious periods in recent British history.

The decision to join the invasion in 2003 sparked widespread domestic opposition and helped transform public opinion of then-Prime Minister Tony Blair.

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Kurt Nimmo | InfoWars.com 

“The incoming chairman of Citigroup, Richard Parsons, showed up at the White House Monday, fueling talk that the federal government might take a massive ownership stake in the troubled banking behemoth,” reports Politico. “Parsons’ appointment was to see Valerie Jarrett, one of President Barack Obama’s closest West Wing confidants.”

According to the corporate media, the government plans to grab 40 percent ownership in Citigroup, a move that is widely explained as “nationalization” of the banks.

“Nationalizing ailing banks means the government would tell bank execs to take a hike, and then oversee taxpayer dollars as they course through the banking sector’s veins,” writes Thomas Kelley for Yahoo News. “When all is well, perhaps after selling assets and operations to new private investors, the government then steps back and lets a newly regulated bank sector float on its way.”

In fact, “nationalization” has nothing to do with telling the banksters to “take a hike” and it certainly has nothing to do with regulation. Bank nationalization is a code word for a banker scheme to “socialize” the insolvency of selected banks, i.e., this insolvency will be transferred to the tax payers. (See Nationalization: Code Word for Banker Takeover.)

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*Looks like we will find ourselves the center of attention as much of the REAL ID ACT has gotten a facelift with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative program.*

Audrey Hudson | Washington Times 

As governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitanowas no fan of the Real ID program that sets federal standards for state-issued driver’s licenses which will be required in the future to board airplanes.

Now that she is Homeland Security secretary and overseeing the department that governs the contentious law, Miss Napolitano says she wants to examine “realistic options” with the officials who must put the program into action – the nation’s governors.

Specifically, Miss Napolitano said she is looking at Washington state’s modified version of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative program. The Pacific state issues security-enhanced driver’s licenses that are accepted for crossing into the state from Canada.

In addition to Arizona, more than a dozen states have passed legislation prohibiting the implementation of the Real ID program, and similar legislation passed by the Virginia House and Senate last week is awaiting Gov. Tim Kaine’s signature.

“Governors are committed to improving the security and integrity of state driver’s licenses and identification systems, but the timelines and requirements mandated by Real ID are unrealistic,” the National Governors Association (NGA) says in its policy position paper.

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Peter Phillips | ProjectCensored.com 

The Barack Obama administration is continuing the neo-conservative agenda of US military domination of the world— albeit with perhaps a kinder-gentler face.  While overt torture is now forbidden for the CIA and Pentagon, and symbolic gestures like the closing of the Guantanamo prison are in evidence, a unilateral military dominance policy, expanding military budget, and wars of occupation and aggression will likely continue unabated. The military expansionists from within the Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton, G. W. Bush administrations put into place solid support for increased military spending. Clinton’s model of supporting the US military industrial complex held steady defense spending and increased foreign weapons sales from 16% of global orders to over 63% by the end of his administration.

The neo-conservatives, who dominated the most recent Bush administration, amplified this trend of increased military spending. The neo-cons laid out their agenda for military global dominance in the 2000 Project for a New American Century (PNAC) report Rebuilding America’s Defenses. The report called for the protection of the American Homeland, the ability to wage simultaneous theater wars, to perform global constabulary roles, and to control space and cyberspace. The report claimed that in order to maintain a Pax Americana, potential rivals — such as China, Iran, Iraq, and North Korea — needed to be held in check. This military global dominance agenda required forward deployment of US forces worldwide and increasing defense/war spending well into the 21st century. The result was a doubling of the US military budget to over $700 billion in the last eight years. The US now spends as much on war/defense as the rest of the world combined, making Americans the highest war-tax payers in the world.

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A Justice Department inquiry has found that the Bush administration’s legal opinions justifying the torture of “war on terror” detainees were hastily drafted after one prisoner was already subjected to waterboarding, a practice that creates the sensation of drowning, according to several sources familiar with the still-classified report.

Jason Leopold | ConsortiumNews.com

The implication of the finding is that John Yoo and other lawyers for the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel violated ethical standards by collaborating with senior White House officials to create legal cover for violating anti-torture and other federal statutes after the fact, rather than providing objective advice for future actions.

The finding also undercuts President George W. Bush’s chief legal defense for authorizing abusive treatment of detainees, that he and other administration officials were following what they regarded as independent legal opinions from the OLC, the office that advises the White House on the limits of its constitutional authority.

As more becomes known about the genesis of those OLC opinions, the evidence increasingly points to a different reality, that Bush and his top aides essentially worked with Yoo and the OLC to fix the legal opinions around their desired policy, even to justify actions that had already occurred.

The criticism of Yoo and his OLC colleagues is contained in a draft report by the Justice Department’s watchdog agency, the Office of Professional Responsibility. The sources say the OPR report was completed late last year but was kept under wraps by Bush’s last Attorney General Michael Mukasey, supposedly to give Yoo and two other former OLC officials time to respond.

The report is now being reviewed by Barack Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder, who may not accept some of the report’s conclusions or may change the “tone” of the draft, the sources said. Newsweek’s correspondent Michael Isikoff also has reported on the contents of the draft report.
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Tony Hake | Examiner.com

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)reported that faulty satellite data was responsible for it underreporting the amount of Arctic sea ice by an area the size of California.  Beginning in early January, “sensor drift” caused an underestimation of ice that grew until the error was finally caught in the mid-February.  Internet visitors who look to the NSIDC for data sent emails to the center and, “it became clear that there was a significant problem—sea-ice-covered regions were showing up as open ocean.”

 

In a statement on their website, NSIDC says, “Sensor drift, although infrequent, does occasionally occur and it is one of the things that we account for during quality control measures prior to archiving the data. See below for more details.  Near-real-time products do not undergo the same level of quality control as the final archived products, which are used in scientific research published in peer-reviewed journals.”

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911blogger.com 

For several years now, self-styled “debunkers” have been claiming that William Rodriguez has been lying about the testimony he gave to the 9/11 Commission in 2004. For example, on Mark Roberts’ website, Roberts mocks Rodriguez;

“January, 2009: As promised, many of the 9/11 Commission investigation records have been made public. There is a wealth of material online, with more to come. I’m sure William Rodriguez will want to get the copies of the notes made by two investigators who interviewed him, to prove his claim that his story hasn’t changed from the start and that the Commission attempted to cover it up. (Don’t hold your breath for Rodriguez to publish those notes.)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v491/reprehensor/911/roberts-lies.jpg

Not only have Mr. Rodriguez’s basic claims remained unchanged, the cover-up continues; his actual testimony remains “restricted”. One can only imagine why that would be. The wiser JREFers who have been holding their collective breath may now exhale, as Mr. Rodriguez has supplied us with copies of the 9/11 Commission Investigator notes in PDF form, which read in part;

“Rodriguez said on September 11, 2001 he reported late to work which was unusual for him. He said he was in the B1 sublevel ABM office speaking to Anthony Saltamachia when the plane struck the North Tower (WTC 1). He immediately thought the explosion was caused by a generator. Shortly after the first explosion a second explosion rocked the building and caused the office’s false ceiling to collapse. Following these explosions Felipe David, who was severely burned, ran into the office. Rodriguez said there was a third explosion and he believed then the explosions were caused by an earthquake.”

Clearly, Rodriguez was indeed talking about “explosions” from the very start.

Download investigator notes here:

Typed notes.

Handwritten original.

 

John Byrne | RawStory.com 

Bagram airbase flies under the radar but will continue to operate without US law.

In a stunning departure from his rhetoric on Guantánamo Bay prison, President Barack Obama signaled Friday he will continue Bush Administration policy with regard to detainees held at a US airbase in Afghanistan, saying they have no right to challenge their detentions in US courts — and denying them legal status altogether.

 

“This Court’s Order of January 22, 2009 invited the Government to inform the Court by February 20, 2009, whether it intends to refine its position on whether the Court has jurisdiction over habeas petitions filed by detainees held at the United States military base in Bagram, Afghanistan,” Acting Assistant Obama Attorney General Michael Hertz wrote in a brief filed Friday. “Having considered the matter, the Government adheres to its previously articulated position.”

 

The move seems to be a reversal from Obama’s much-trumpeted announcement to close the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba in January, in which he promised to return the United States to the “moral high ground” and “restore the standards of due process”

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The Carroll National Guard will conduct Gun Confiscation Drills from April 2-5, 2009 in the 10 mile stretch between Carroll, IA to Arcadia, IA. According to Sgt. Mike Kots, readiness NCO for Alpha Company the drill will culminate in the apprehension of a suspected arms dealer. However, Sgt. Kots then goes on to explain “One of the techniques we use in today’s political environment is cordon and knock. We ask for the head of the household, get permission to search, then have them open doors and cupboards. The homeowner maintains control. We peer over their shoulder, and the soldier uses the homeowner’s body language and position to protect him.” The question must be asked if the purpose of the drill is to apprehend a suspected weapons dealer why are they searching in cupboards? Is the dealer hiding in a pantry or a breadbox? Or is it really about searching for those nasty guns and firearms that will be a bane during times of martial law.

According to Daily Times Herald from Carroll, IA the primary phase of the operation will be completed Saturday, April 4, when convoys will be deployed from Carroll to Arcadia. Pictures of the arms dealer will be shown in Arcadia, and soldiers will go door to door asking if residents have seen the suspect. “Once credible intelligence has been gathered,” said Kots, “portions of the town will be road-blocked and more in-depth searches of homes and vehicles will be conducted in accordance with the residents’ wishes.” The unit will use a Blackhawk helicopter for overhead command and control, and to simulate medevacs. If this isn’t a military psychological operation, I’m not sure what is. “We have a lot of extended drills this coming year,” Kots added. So this isn’t the end but rather just the beginning of martial law indoctrination of the public. Watch the Video Here.
Alex Jones discusses the martial law event in Iowa